Yahoo Finance’s Myles Udland, Julie Hyman, Brian Sozzi, and Jessica Smith discuss the COVID-19 aid bill.
MYLES UDLAND: We're down to the wire as we've been for a long time now on stimulus. Lawmakers announcing their latest proposal for another round of economic relief with programs set to expire at the end of this month. And we begin there with Jessica Smith who joins us now with the latest on where things stand, Jess. And things are always standing somewhere which is not quite at the finish line when it comes to stimulus. But as of this morning, on this Tuesday, what do we know and where are proposals at as of right now?
JESSICA SMITH: Well, we're waiting to see what congressional leadership is going to do with this bipartisan proposal that this group of lawmakers has put forward. We talked about that $908 billion compromise bill that that group was working on. They couldn't get past the two biggest sticking points, so they broke it up into two different proposals.
The first is a $748 billion package. That has the measures that are not as controversial in it. So you have $300 a week in enhanced UI. You have an extension of the expiring unemployment insurance programs. You have another round of PPP. Money for vaccine. Other measures that everyone seems to like.
Then, you have the $160 billion in state and local aid and the liability provisions. That group could not get to a consensus on those so they just put them in a separate bill. Neither bill has stimulus checks. And that could be a problem because Senator Bernie Sanders has threatened to hold up government funding over another round of direct payments to Americans. So it's going to depend on what congressional leadership does with this compromise if those stimulus checks somehow end up in a final package.
But these centrist lawmakers are urging leaders to take this deal. Let's watch.
ROB PORTMAN: Some of my colleagues say well, the economy's better, why do we need to do this? Folks, I got to tell you, the economy is not getting better in most of our states. It's hurting.
DICK DURBIN: This is our consensus bill. We all agree on it. It's ready to go. There's no excuse for either the Speaker or the leader. You've got it. Give us a vote. Don't let us go home for Christmas without a vote on this.
JESSICA SMITH: So that was Senator Dick Durbin that you just heard from there. He is the second-highest Democrat in the Senate. And the fact that he is saying, he seems to be willing to take a deal without state and local aid is significant. Reporters asked other Democratic leaders yesterday if they would be willing to move without state and local aid, they did not completely say no as they did in the past. So we'll be looking for any update from them.
We also have to note that this is really a time crunch. Government funding runs out on Friday. If they introduce a long-term funding bill today, that's really a crunch to get this done by Friday and include those coronavirus relief measures. Myles and Julie.
MYLES UDLAND: All right. Well, Christmas is 10 days away by my count, Jess, so it sounds like we have 10 more days of these headlines. Jessica Smith, we'll check in with you certainly later on this week.